‘Clinics First’ Provides Supplies to Congo Hospitals, Clinics

Post a Comment » Written on January 26th, 2009     
Filed under: News
BUSINGA, CONGO (January 26, 2009) – The Paul Carlson Partnership (PCP) has launched a new initiative – the “Clinics First” program – that will provide a package of basic diagnostic equipment and other medical supplies to each of the 73 clinics and four hospitals operated by the Evangelical Covenant Church of Congo (CEUM).

PCP Executive Director Byron Miller unveiled the new program during an ongoing CEUM national pastors conference in Businga. Click here to read an earlier story about the conference.

In addition to the diagnostic equipment, the package also will include medicines for the 15 most frequently treated diseases, a microscope to help with diagnoses, a metal cabinet to hold the equipment and supplies, and a bicycle to provide essential transportation for the nurse who staffs the clinic. Each hospital will receive two packages. Dr. Roger Thorpe, PCP medical consultant, created the list of items the facilities most needed.

Medical kitsDuring his initial stay in Congo, Miller visited several village clinics and observed the lack of basic diagnostic equipment. He brought several packages with him this trip. With Miller (at left) is Dr. Aime Nkakala, director of the CEUM medical system.

Each package costs $1,500. Large gifts from two churches and one family covered the cost of the packages Miller delivered. The cost of each package covers one adult scale, one stethoscope, two sphygmomanometers, 10 thermometers, one microscope, one otoscope with batteries, one vacuum extractor (for select clinics), 100 tongue depressors, one bicycle, one metal storage cabinet, a variety of medicines, and shipping expense.

“Our original hope was to provide the essentials for $500 per clinic,” Miller says. “As we assembled the list, however, it became clear that to really meet the needs would require $1,500. Donors have responded enthusiastically, and the program has gotten off to a good start.”

Miller says that as people come to rely on the clinic system, more patients will be referred to the four hospitals, thus increasing the patient volume and income, which is needed to financially support those institutions. PCP provides $325,000 in operating support each year for the CEUM medical system.

“Our goal is to equip every clinic to serve the people in its area with reliable care for the problems they are most likely to have,” Miller says.

Those interested in financially supporting the Clinics First program may send checks, earmarked “Clinics First,” to the Paul Carlson Partnership, 5101 N. Francisco Ave., Chicago, IL, 60625. For those interested in donating online using a credit card, click here.

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